SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California prosecutor has been placed on leave following a report that he posted discriminatory comments on social media targeting a U.S. lawmaker and the victim of a police shooting.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office on Monday said Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem was placed on paid leave while an investigation is pending.

The Orange County Register reported last week the gang prosecutor targeted Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama and Mexican immigrants with posts a critic described as "hateful rhetoric."

District Attorney Mike Ramos says he learned of the comments two weeks ago after other attorneys complained. He says individual free speech rights must be balanced with the need for ethical and unbiased prosecutors.

An email message was sent to Selyem seeking comment.